Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

April 4, 2014

Student Juried Art Show at NSU an opportunity to put new talent on display

TAHLEQUAH — Artists rely on their innermost feelings for inspiration in their craft. But to be successful professionally, those feelings have to be put on the shelf for all to see – and judge.

About 50 Northeastern State University art students will have their worked judged by a professional during the upcoming annual Student Juried Show, slated for April 11 through 30, at the NSU Gallery, 232 N. Muskogee Ave., Tahlequah.

“Students are allowed to submit up to eight pieces, ranging in all forms of media,” said Melina Smyres, assistant professor of art at NSU. “This includes drawings, paintings, foundations, ceramic, sculpture, drafting and design, and digital media.”

Judge for the event is Steven Rosser, a painter who holds a master’s degree in fine arts, and teaches at the university level, outside of the NSU program.

“He’s done commercial work, as well, including work for Absolut Vodka,” said Smyres. “We have students who are interested in pursuing both professional and commercial art, so we thought he’d be a good choice as judge.”

Smyres said any NSU art student can submit work, regardless of experience, as long as the piece has not been submitted in the past.

“Pieces also have to be matted and framed [if applicable],” said Smyres. “We want them to learn the professional side of displaying their art, and this helps.”

A reception will be held at 7 p.m., Friday, April 11, at the gallery, followed by the awards ceremony at 8 at the NSU Jazz Lab. The show will continue through Wednesday, April 30. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 3 to 7 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Smyres believes it’s important for students to put their work out for display.

“Shows like this are important, because it helps them learn to professionally prepare their work,” said Smyres. “It’s also good for resumé-building. I have a lot of senior students who are entering for that purpose. It’s also good to get an outside viewpoint on their work.”

Smyres said NSU art students often have the same instructor for a number of courses, and having an outside judge come in helps them gain perspective.

“It’s good for them to get feedback from a juror,” said Smyres. “The judging is blind, so he will not have the names of the students when he views the work. Collectively, it’s nice for them to see overall what’s being accomplished in the different mediums, as well.”

NSU senior Josh Bell is entering the maximum eight pieces in this year’s show.

“About half are watercolor,” said Bell. “I also do oil painting, photography, pastels, digital media and wire sculpture. But right now, watercolor is my favorite.”

Bell enjoys having his work judged.

“It lets me know what’s working,” said Bell. “It helps me figure out what will make a better piece and with the creative process.”

He highly recommends that students submit their work for judging.

“Enter anything and everything you can,” he said. “It really does teach you how the art is viewed by other people.”

Lance Hunter, NSU associate professor of art, said Rosser, the judge, is from Tulsa, and has taught at several colleges and universities. He also mentioned the NSU gallery has different exhibits throughout the school year.

“We usually have something on exhibit in the gallery all during the academic year minus holidays and installation times,” said Hunter. “Our shows include senior exhibitions, faculty exhibitions, and visiting artists plus the juried show which opens next week.”

Hunter’s work was recently recognized in a national exhibition.

“One of the pieces I exhibited in the Faculty Show in our gallery in January just won an award in the Georgia Watercolor National Exhibition. Another watercolor from that same NSU exhibit is now hanging in an international exhibition in Houston,” Hunter said.

“Smyres exhibited her illustrations from a book that was reviewed last year in the New York Times. Our little gallery is often the premier venue for faculty and student work that is later shown in larger exhibitions.”


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